Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors Pay $590M to Native American Tribes Resurgence Behavioral Health Provides Effective Treatment for Impacted Communities

Costa Mesa, California -

Costa Mesa, CA – Native Americans have been among the hardest-hit communities in the opioid crisis, with one study reporting that Native Americans had the highest per-capita death rate of any population group in 2015. Now, they may find some justice in a far-reaching financial settlement by the pharmaceutical industry’s three largest drug distributors and one major manufacturer.

Drug distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc. joined manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in agreeing to pay a total of $590 million to Native American tribes whose members have died of opioid overdoses in record numbers. The tribes had asserted that the opioid crisis, which has seen 500,000 people fatally overdose on illegal versions of the drugs, was worsened by the four companies.

Resurgence #1 Addiction Treatment Center - Specialized Programs For Native Americans

The tribal settlements, announced February 1, are the latest price paid by drug manufacturers and distributors for their part in the opioid tragedy. More than $40 billion in settlements, penalties and fines have been paid by the companies, which have been accused of overly aggressive marketing of the drugs and even of artificially creating an addiction to the drugs.

The drug companies are defending more than 3,300 lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments, accusing them of allowing addictive painkillers to be diverted into illegal channels. J&J and other drugmakers are accused of downplaying the risk of addiction in their marketing campaigns.

Plaintiffs in the array of lawsuits include more than 400 tribal organizations. An astounding 80% of their citizens have sued over opioids. In the February 1 settlement, the four companies had offered to pay up to $26 billion to state and local governments, but that was unrelated to the tribal claims.

The terms of the latest settlement call for the four companies to pay nearly $440 million over seven years, plus $75 million they had agreed to pay to the Cherokee Nation in September 2021.

J&J said it was not admitting wrongdoing and that it took “appropriate and responsible” actions in promoting prescription opioid pain medications.

AmerisourceBergen said the deal will "expedite the flow of resources to communities impacted by the crisis." Thomas Perrelli, attorney for McKesson, told the court the distributors would work to help tribes sign onto the settlement.

During a court hearing on the settlement, plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Skikos said, “We're not solving the opioid crisis with the settlement, but we are getting critical resources to tribal communities to address the crisis.”

Resurgence Behavioral Health, a nationwide addiction treatment center, that specializes in treating substance addictions and associated mental health disorders, applauds the settlement. They say its an important step toward increasing access to effective treatment and they welcome the opportunity to provide quality care.

Anyone searching for addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one may begin the process of recovery by visiting Resurgence Behavioral Health online or calling 855-458-0050 anytime, 24/7. Calls are 100% confidential.


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Resurgence Alcohol & Drug Rehab Costa Mesa